Tag Archives: z1auto

Improving the View in Paradise

2 Apr

ganadorinstalledsti!(1)


Dmitri recently sent us pics of his gorgeous STi, all the way from New Caledonia!

He received a set of Ganador mirrors from us, which he had painted to match the car.

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AP Racing Radi-Cal Big Brake Kits

12 Feb

APRadi-cal

We are now offering the full Radi-Cal big brake kit setups from AP Racing. This caliper design has raced successfully the world over, and is now optimized so that even a street car can take advantage of them. Some features that separate these setups from others, Firstly, these use a forged caliper, which are both lighter and stiffer than a typical cast caliper used in other big brake kits. One of the neatest aspects of these kits are they were designed to be user friendly. Not only are they a total bolt on, but from a servicing standpoint, they offer very quick and easy pad changes with the removable forged “H” brace at the top of the caliper. The caliper stays mounted to the car, and pads are quickly able to be swapped out.

apradi-calhbrace

The pistons are staggered hard anodized aluminum for equalized pad pressure, which in turn promotes better bite, more consistent brake torque, and the best pad wear possible. Dust seals are incorporated to ensure long life and minimal running costs.

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The kits are all designed around OEM ABS and traction control systems as well, so no guesswork involved from a chassis setup standpoint. While many nowadays fit a big brake kit simple for their aesthetic value, AP has gone a long way to ensure these are both beautiful as well as the most durable calipers out there – they are both anodized and high temp painted, not just one or the other.

APradi-calassembly

The disks used in these kits are directionally curve vane vented for maximum air flow through the disc. AP Racing’s unique curve vaned discs are Dyno and race proven as the best designed rotors for optimized cooling. The curve vane rotor acts an air pump pulling air into the center of the rotor and blowing it through the veins and out of the top of the rotor. This act allows the rotor to be self-cooling and work extremely efficiently.

AP Racing’s Wide Disc Technology (WDT) is used for the most efficient way to transfer heat to from the disc. Designs using wider discs with larger air gaps increase air flow rates within the discs as proven by AP Racing’s FEA, CFD and TSA testing. This goal was achieved while not increasing disc weight or disc stress and decreasing disc temperatures by up to 300 degrees F.

The disks are of course a 2 piece design, with anodized 6061 T-6 hats. That in and of itself isn’t necessarily “news”, but what is interesting is how they mount. These hats use 12 point mounting vs the 10 point that is more typically found. What’s more, these use floating hardware for the hat to disk which allows both components axial and radial movement. This allows each to cool quicker and more efficiently, while simultaneously allowing the disk to remain centered relative to the caliper. That feature then pays the user big dividends by significantly limiting pad knockback.

apradi-caljhookdiskrotor

The disks also feature the J Hook slot design which increases frictional surface area across the rotor face but without being prone to cracking, like in a cross drilled rotor under extreme temperature swings. We can also offer the kits with a combination slotted/drilled rotor for those that prefer such a configuration.

The pads supplied are true dual purpose

The last piece to the puzzle is of course the brake lines. These can often be a weak link with other offshore kits, but not so with AP. They are made by Goodridge and feature fully extruded PTFE inner sections wrapped in a high strength stainless braid that is both corrosion and fire resistant. This is then all wrapped with a clear outer sleeve as well.

apradi-calbrakeline

These kits are being offered initially for a wide range of vehicles including the Audi A4/S4 and A5/S5, BMW 3 series, Z4, M3 and M5, Cadillac CTS-V models, Camaro, C5-C7 Corvette, the various SRT-8 models, Mustang, Infiniti G (G25, G35, G37), FX (FX35, FX45, FX50 and M models (M35 and M45), Jeep, and the 350Z/370Z, with additional models to appear. We will be offering free shipping through March 31, 2014, as well as free brake fluid as well (from several choices, depending on your individual needs).

For all retail and wholesale inquiries, contact us at z1sales@z1auto.com

Gauntlet Is Thrown

8 Feb

Varis is one of the few JDM firms left that are still turning out exciting designs. For 2014, they have their widebody kit for the Subaru Impreza WRX STi. 35mm wider than stock up front, 38mm wider out back with a range of carbon or FRP options. Pieces can thoughtfully be purchased as a full kit or individually. Varis items are all hand made, not mass produced, and fit and finish is absolutely first rate. As such, they are not inexpensive to produce, but that also means you won’t find replicas, and you won’t find 100 cars with them installed.

variswidebody2014imprezawrxsti

New Plug and Play Engine Management for 350Z and G35

16 Jan
AEM Infinity Series ECU

AEM Infinity Series ECU

aeminfinityecu

AEM’s Infinity series ECU is now available with a plug and play harness for all 2003-2006 350Z and G35’s with Manual Transmission only (will not support automatics).

This is one of the fastest, most powerful ecu’s on the market at any price point, with a feature list that reads like many higher priced units.

Full Drive by wire control, supports factory widebands on 04.5+ models, full CAN support (so your gauges, check engine light, traction control VDC all remain functional), programmable 3 step rev limiter, even the ability to store and cycle through multiple maps via the cruise control switch.

Click the picture above to read more about it, or to place your order.

Aeromotive and TiAL Deals!

5 Dec

Take an extra 5% off and get free shipping in ALL 50 states on all TiAL orders over $150 – click logo to contact us

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Additionally, take 10% off ALL Aeromotive orders over $150 – click logo to contact us

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Do it in the Dirt

13 Nov

Yesterday we showed some clips of a rallycross 911.  But that was when the car was all nice and shiny and driving on tame, paved roads.  Here are some clips of the car in it’s more natural habitat…enjoy!

As expected, the car wears venerable Braid wheels, some of the strongest, and affordable street and competition wheels you can buy!

Why Stressing Over Tire Size is Useless

12 Nov

One of the most frequent questions we get is “what size tire do you recommend?”.  The most correct, but least awaited answer we can give is “It depends”.  Because frankly, tire size doesn’t really mean a whole heckuva lot. 

We’ve been taught, through some sort of mythical passdown of inaccurate information, that the first number in a tires size (let’s say, 275) is it’s width, in mm.  If that were true, things would be simple.  When you go into a store to buy a new shirt, you see the same phenomenon.  Some firms clothing runs bigger (or smaller) than others.    You may wear a 34 jean from one company, and a 36 from another.  Modifying a car is similarly inconsistent, and rarely is simple.  While the first number in a tires size CAN be it’s width in mm, it’s more often than not, a general target of width.  Now, on an otherwise stock car, this doesn’t really matter.  When you start altering suspension, dropping the car an inch (or more), fitting super wide, super low offset wheels, your margin for error decreases exponentially.  As the Pauli Exclusion Principal generally states (and was reinforced by Einstein and many others), 2 objects cannot occupy the same physical space at the same time.  So in the interest of avoiding tire contact with the body of the car, with suspension components, with the inner fender liners, etc, things become more complicated. 

This pictue is one Kwame posted several years ago, and it illustrates the point perfectly.

tiresize1

 

If you saw the above picture, which tire would you say is bigger?  The one on the left clearly.  But on paper, the tire on the right is bigger.  Both are mounted on the same 11.5 inch wide wheels.  The tire on the left is a  Michelin PS2, 295/30/19. The tire on the right is a Pirelli PZero, 305/30/19.  If you’re trying to get more “stance”, or gain a bigger footprint, which would you rather have?  The one with the bigger number on the receipt, or the one with the bigger physical dimension? 

Here is another picture of the same above example: 295/30/19 PS2 on left, 305/30/19 PZero on the right

tiresize2

 

So what do you do?  Check the manufacturers site!  Everyone should have the physical dimensions of their tires, in inches, for every corresponding ‘size’ listed on their website. 

 

Built with a Purpose

12 Nov

A 911 built to rally

 

 

Paul, we need some in-dirt footage next 😉

Return of the (Formula) Mesh

7 Nov

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Wheel Reveal Part II: The 2014 return of the legendary SSR Formula Mesh. SSR has reintroduced this classic wheel for first quarter 2013, but has added a modern twist: sizes will exclusively be offered in 16 inch (16×5.5 to 16×10) in 4×98 and 4×100, and 19 inch (19×7.5 through 19.12.5 in 5×130 bolt pattern). FWD, old school guys and especially Porsche-philes, rejoice!

Contact us at z1sales@z1auto.com for details

 

When JDM Meets NASCAR: Full Split

3 Oct

A close friend of ours down south has a 350Z. For the last several years it served as faithful daily driver, and weekend track slut. Now that the stars have aligned, and a truck now handles daily driving duties (and doubles as the track-rig on the weekend), the Z has been relegated to primarily track use only. He runs the car all over the Southeast, and despite the fact that it (for now) is still a stock engine with some bolt on’s, it’s wildly competitive. The reason? Intelligently selected modifications. Everything on the car has a purpose. Nothing was selected by accident, and in several cases, it took some trial and error of different components in order to come up with the faster combination.

The car was recently in NASCAR country, North Carolina, for a recent round of upgrades, including a differential and ring and pinion change. While there, a former NASCAR tech got hold of it, and using some fabrication skills and NASCAR carbon splitters (the rear deal), this was the creation. Next set of shakedowns is a few weeks ago at Barber, stay tuned!

Reducing the Vibration, Upping the Performance

3 Oct

NISMO Rear Performance Damper 350Z

NISMO Front Performance Damper 350Z

There is an old expression in the sports car world “handles like it’s on rails”. In other words, a car that changes direction with such eagerness, authority, and minimal loss of energy, that its akin to a train following a track. To this end, people often go about fitting the stiffest springs they can, with the biggest possible swaybars, and rubber-band thick tires, hoping to reduce lean and roll. This works great on cars with huge sticky tires and lots of downforce (and thus high speeds), and ideally, driven on perfectly smooth tracks. While many try to mimic this on a street car, it’s usually not the case. Normal roads, and even many racetracks around the country are anything but glass-smooth. We’re genernally not running slicks or even R compound tires when we drive to the local diner or for a weekend blast down some backroads, and while we may have installed them on our cars, we’re not generally using dive planes, functional splitters and spoilers to their potential due to street-legal speeds. The same car that handles on rails is also crashing over every imperfection out there. Expansion joints might as well be speedbumps, uneven pavement akin to driving over road spikes. Geometry aside, these super stiff setups often compromise road car handling, more than they improve it. Chassis stiffening is not the same as suspension stiffening, and this is an often-overlooked feature. The chassis of the car is like the skeleton of a high rise building. It’s made of steel girders, because it’s the backbone of the structure. Similarly a cars chassis is the skeleton of the car: it supports everything else.

When NISMO developed the 350Z NISMO edition, mane shunned it as merely a cosmetic upgrade. The engine afterall was the same – but it wore a wildy out there (for a factory car) body kit – a long front bumper with low splitter, a long rear bumper overhang, and a decidedly “Fast and Furious” style spoiler. Delve deeper and you find what makes it so special. The chassis is fully seam welded. Meaning every joint, where 2 pieces of aluminum are bonded together, are full sealed. There are no gaps, there are no open joints. This increases chassis rigidity by a decidely large amount. This is one of the things people often do when bulding a race car from the ground up. To that chassis, Nissan fitted significantly stiffer springs (one of the stiffest out there on a road car) with heavy duty dampers. While the bushings and swaybars remained the same compared to other NISMO cars, the car was noticeably stiffer. But this is, afterall, a road car. While it is very much at home on weekend track days and club events, it’s designed to be a fun, sporting day to day means of transportation. Had it been left alone, it would have been panned for being too obnoxious on the road, too upset by the concrete jungle. To solve those issues NISMO worked with Yamaha to develop a Z-specific pair of body dampers. These attach fore and aft of the shock pointing points, between the 2 biggest “holes” in the chassis – at the front bumper, and in the rear spare tire well. Why there? When a suspension compresses and rebounds, energy is created, stored, and released in very quick succession. The stiffer the spring, the more aggressive the shock valving, the quicker this process happens. Which is why from inside the cabin, that uneven pavement can be downright punishing….whereas in a Toyota Camry, it’s just soaked up effortlessly. The dampers Yamaha and NISMO developed are designed to specifically combat these vibrations, without toning down the benefits that the spring/shock combo gives the handling aspect of the car. When you look at them out of the box, they are basically a strut brace, with a little shock built in. They compress and rebound, like a strut does. However they mount veritcally, whereas shocks mount horizontally. So they combat the natural vibrations the chassis will face when hitting potholes, uneven pavement, and normal bumps in the road. This minimizes energy losses, and lets the spring and shock more efficiently do their job, while keeping the driver comfortable, and thus confident, behind the wheel.

Think it’s still just marketing hype? F1 cars began using similar devices in the 2006 season. Or, just try it for yourself: we have. A 350Z with coilovers (pick your poison, it even helps with wife-friendly coilovers such as Bilstein and KW). With the typical set of low profile 18 or 19 inch tires, and at the typical lowered stance these cars look so good at, it turns the car from a bit erratic over bumps, to downright stable. The suspension is now more able to work in unison, left and right, front to back, whereas without the dampers, it’s a bit of a free-for-all, with the driver being asked to control it all on the fly. It is truly eye-opening how these simple bolt on devices stabilize the vehicle.

The neat thing about these, is they are available for several carswe get here in the US, including the Subaru WRX (02-07), 350Z/G35. Need one for your car? Just drop us a line!

High Society

2 Oct

endlesszealz33

Best of the best on this 350z – Endless Racing 6 big brake kit, Zeal Coilovers with Eibach race springs, Roberuta Cup Kit (to adjust height on the fly), Esprit forged adjustable a-arms, and a bevy of Whiteline and SPL bushings. The end result is going to be out of this world, stay tuned!

Tech Talk: FRP (Fiberglass) vs Blended Materials for Aftermarket Body Kits

24 Sep

We get this question ALL the time – what is the ‘right’ material to select when buying aftermarket body parts? There are a range of materials that manufacturers use. Several higher end manufacturers, mainly in the Japanese realm, offer several of their products in both FRP as well as a blended, or hybrid material. FRP stands for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic. This term is tossed around alot in the aftermarket aero world. It’s a bit of a catch all term, that generally describes a range of composites (parts made by mixing various materials together). Without getting boring, there are differences among “FRP” blends. Not only do the materials mixed together vary, so do the epoxy types used to hold them together. Since a fiberglass part is only as good as the quality of the mold used to produce it, that is why you see such a huge variation in pricing among parts that on their surface look similar. This is an area where you get what you pay for. For ease of terminology, I will stick to using the generic term “FRP”, but I am specifically referring to the better-branded/manufactured stuff out there, since that is what I am most familiar with. FRP has many fantastic properties. It is extremely strong relative (especially) relative to it’s weight (it’s light), it can be molded into many complex shapes, it is easily repaired should it get damaged, and it’s able to be produced at relatively low costs. FRP really has no downsides in and of itself, it is a terrific material for these type of parts. Some will say that urethane is ALWAYS better, and it’s simply not the case. Urethane molds are extremely expensive to produce, which is why you rarely see aftermarket aero parts offered in the material to begin with. When you do, they tend to be extremely heavy relative to their FRP counterparts. Urethane is extremely durable, mainly because it has so much tensile strength, but should it be damaged via impact, it’s very difficult (and often impossible), to repair. Most times when it suffers such an impact, it has to be replaced. Fiberglass on the otherhand can literally be decimated – shattered into multiple chunks after an impact, but joined back together relatively easily. Serviceability is a big benefit of FRP parts. Another issue with aftermarket urethane, that is often overlooked, is longevity. Depending on where in the world you live, the urethane can break down over the course of time, due to environmental conditions. This process can cause the urethane to lose its shape and literally deform. As this happens, its aesthetic value and its durability both suffer.

In the last 10 years (give or take), we’ve seen variations of fiberglass hit the market. These are components use a combination of different man made materials (urethane, various plastics, etc) added into the “FRP” mixture, and sealed with a different type of epoxy. The purpose of this type of material was to bridge the gap between the aftermarket urethane parts and the OEM plastic/urethane level parts. These blended, or hybrid materials are more flexible vs their straight FRP counterparts, but not as flexible as a full urethane part. In the case of manufacturers like INGS and CWest, their blended materials have the added bonus of requiring much less prep time before they are ready for paint. This type of manufacturing is more expensive to do, so only a handful of worthwhile companies offer it. Several try (mostly knockoff firms), and succeed to varying degrees. In many cases I have seen, while the material itself is generally quite good, in the interest the mold quality suffers. Molds are used for longer than they should be, or simply are inaccurate in the first place. This results in unwanted gaps when installed, or parts that are too long, too short, and require significant prep work in order to actually install on the car. Prep work is expensive, generally charged per hour, and can quickly make the ‘savings’ vs the genuine article disappear. While the hybrid/blended parts are slightly heavier than their FRP counterparts, they are nowhere near the level of a urethane part. Somewhere on the order of 5% or so heavier.

Like a Meeting at the U.N.

22 Sep

culturalblend

Many cultures represented

Dark Horse

11 Sep

Super clean R33 GTR featuring an Endless big brake kit (Mono 6 brake kit front and rear, tucked neatly behind NISMO 18 inch wheels). A stunning result (both in looks, and certainly performance). Need an Endless kit for your car? Drop us a line at z1sales@z1auto.com and see what the premier brake supplier has to offer. If you’re truly looking for the absolute best kits out there, no one offers the range of performance oriented options that Endless does. Simply the best.